Gabriel Filippi: The man


The value of a man resides in what he gives
and not in what he is capable of receiving.

Albert Einstein
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Make a difference. Help each other.

Travelling the world to climb mountains is a rare privilege. Gabriel Filippi makes the most of his good fortune and shares it with those who have less. His main cause is children. Children’s laughter is too precious to allow their health, education, physical activity, environment or future to be compromised.

Gabriel knows that mountains are not climbed all in one go: it is by advancing from camp to camp that we achieve our goals. And there are many mountains yet to climb:

2000: Cystic Fibrosis
Detected 9 times out of 10 before the age of 10, cystic fibrosis is the most common serious genetic disease in Canada. And there is no cure: the research still needs a lot of support.

2001: Babu Chiri Sherpa Foundation
The famous Sherpa Babu Chiri was on his tenth ascent of Everest when he led Gabriel’s first Nepalese expedition. Having achieved his dream, Gabriel wanted to return the favour. Babu Chiri’s dream was to have schools and teachers in the remote mountain villages. Their partnership has lasted more than a decade.

2002: Spinal muscular atrophy
On an expedition up Mount McKinley, Gabriel met three Americans who were battling the elements with a single goal in mind: to take a photo to the roof of North America. Too exhausted to complete their journey, they entrusted their mission to Gabriel. Touched, he fulfilled their wish with pride. It was a picture of Connor, a two-year-old stricken with this terrible disease.
Affecting one baby out of 6000, this genetic disease deteriorates the motor neurons between the brain and the muscles. The muscles lose mass through disuse and the body becomes incapable of voluntary movement.

2003: Organ donation
Success is definitely within everyone’s grasp. Gabriel led the Life Line Expedition in June 2003. Completely on his own, for the first time ever, a heart transplant patient climbed to the top of Mont Blanc (France).
After the expedition, a series of lectures inspired the Canadian medical community. This story is still used to promote organ donation and generate hope in patients awaiting a transplant. A documentary was produced on the topic and broadcast on public television.

2005: Ad Astra
Sean Egan was a personal friend of Gabriel’s who died on Everest. Gabriel took his ashes to the summit. Afterward, a foundation was created to build a school for orphans in Katmandu (Nepal).

2007: Child Haven
Child Haven is the proof that there are no borders to giving. This charitable organization helps children in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Tibet. It is still led by its founders, Bonnie and Fred Capuccino, both in their eighties.

2009: Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation
For Together to the Top, Gabriel carried an ice axe signed by Guy Lafleur and the hockey team’s 100th anniversary flag, signed by all the players.

The Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation provides assistance and support for children in need. Created in August 2000, the Foundation has given $7 million to over 350 organizations working for the wellbeing of underprivileged children in Quebec. The Foundation is more determined than ever to offer needy children a better and healthier future, and it works to encourage a healthy lifestyle and promote physical activity among youth.

2010: Juvenile Arthritis Society
At a magical meeting, Gabriel was particularly moved by little Camille, who taught him that arthritis is not only an old person’s disease. To combat this common belief held by four people out of five and to support young arthritics, Gabriel Filippi decided to get involved. In 2010, he was the spokesperson for a fundraiser and ascent of Mount Everest with the theme Fight the pain metre by metre. He is also the spokesperson for the Arthro-Action program.